Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Avoidable Injuries Continue in Winter Sports

WebMD Health News

March 6, 2000 (Atlanta) -- High-speed snowmobile and ice hockey collisions often result in injury to the head, neck, and spine, according to two reports in the March issue of Pediatrics. Doctors call for education, legislation, and sportsmanship to help reduce injuries and deaths among children.

Snowmobiling is a very popular winter sport in the U.S. and around the world. Many consider it a family sport, so there is much concern that both parents and children be educated about injury prevention in snowmobiling.

In 1988, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published the following statement on snowmobiling: "Snowmobiles are inappropriate for use by children and young adolescents and should not be used by children younger than 16 years old." The AAP also recommended that riders over age 16 be licensed and that helmets be worn at all times.

Despite those recommendations more than a decade ago, snowmobile injuries continue. Because pediatric snowmobile trauma has not been studied in the United States, researchers reviewed almost 300 cases reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission between 1990 and 1998. Snowmobile laws were reviewed in states that reported one or more deaths.

The data showed that 75% of all snowmobile incidents involved boys. Head and neck injuries, from collisions with stationary objects, were the most common cause of death. Non-fatal injuries, from vehicle ejection, included bruises, scrapes, cuts, broken bones, and sprains.

Legislative analysis revealed that age restrictions typically don't apply to snowmobile use on private property, where over 40% of all pediatric accidents occurred. Additionally, most states don't require protective helmets. The authors feel that new laws are necessary and appropriate.

"Legislators should consider enacting helmet laws, age restrictions, and speed limits like those for other motor vehicles," says lead author Manda Rice, research coordinator at Toledo Children's Hospital in Ohio. "Also, the maintenance of snowmobile trails should be funded with licensing and registration fees.

"But so far, the states haven't adopted [such restrictions]. And that's why we're encouraging doctors to advocate at the state and local levels," Rice tells WebMD.

"It's frustrating to see teen-agers with serious, long-term injuries from recreational snowmobile use," says Michael Bannon, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic's surgical/trauma intensive care unit and assistant professor of surgery at the Mayo School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. "And snowmobile collisions can be just as devastating as high-speed automobile collisions."

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing